Haiyan has made landfall in northern Vietnam as a tropical storm today, after leaving massive destruction in the Philippines.
The Vietnamese national weather forecast agency said Haiyan struck in the northern province of Quang Ninh at 5am local time and was moving towards southern China, where it is expected to weaken to a low depression later. No casualties or major damage have been reported.
Haiyan slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday as the strongest typhoon of the year. It appears to be the deadliest storm – and natural disaster - on record to hit the Philippines, with officials saying that as many as 10,000 people are believed dead.
Rescuers faced blocked roads and damaged airports as they raced to deliver desperately needed tents, food and medicines to the typhoon-devastated eastern region.
Three days after Haiyan ravaged the area, the full scale of the disaster was only now becoming apparent. In Tacloban, corpses hung from trees and were scattered on pavements. Many were buried in flattened buildings.
“This area has been totally ravaged”, said Sebastien Sujobert, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Tacloban. “Many lives were lost, a huge number of people are missing, and basic services such as drinking water and electricity have been cut off.”
He said both the Philippine Red Cross and the ICRC offices in Tacloban were damaged, forcing staff to relocate temporarily.
Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippines on Friday and quickly barrelled across its central islands, packing winds of 147mph that gusted to 170mph, and a storm surge of 20 feet.
It inflicted serious damage to at least six of the archipelago’s more than 7,000 islands, with Leyte, Samar and the northern part of Cebu appearing to bear the brunt of the storm. About four million people were affected by the storm, the national disaster agency said.
Video from Eastern Samar province’s Guiuan township – the first area where the typhoon made landfall – showed a trail of devastation. Many houses were flattened and roads were strewn with debris and uprooted trees. The ABS-CBN video showed several bodies on the street, covered with blankets.
“Even me, I have no house, I have no clothes. I don’t know how I will restart my life, I am so confused,” an unidentified woman said, crying. “I don’t know what happened to us. We are appealing for help. Whoever has a good heart, I appeal to you – please help Guiuan.”
The United Nations said it was sending supplies but reaching the worst hit areas was a challenge.
“Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications,” said Unicef Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi.